Ovidiu Plugariu et al. published the paper “Evaluation of a Low-Power Hadoop Cluster based on the Zynq ARM-FPGA SoC” in U.P.B. Scientific Bulletin, Series C, Vol. 79, Iss. 1, 2017


Distributed computing is important to many web and scientific applications. The quest for lower power dissipation and energy consumption in distributed applications has led to the implementation of ARM processor based distributed systems. The advent of integrated accelerators such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) promises to provide further reductions in power, but it is yet unclear to the scientific community how FPGAs should be utilized to maximize their benefit to the distributed system. To answer this research question, in this paper we evaluate a ARMFPGA distributed system which utilizes the Xilinx Zynq SoC as processor and Apache Hadoop as a programming environment and task scheduler. We evaluate the system on industry-standard benchmarks: MRBench, TestDFSIO, Wordcount. Compared to a similar system with x86 processors, the ARM-based system dissipates 5 times less power. Additionally, we observe that all applications are IO bound on the ARM system, which indicates that the most efficient use for FPGAs in such a system is for offloading IO compression algorithms.